Nigeria continues to rank as the riskiest country to do business with over the Internet a new survey released Wednesday shows, with New York identified as the riskiest city in North America.

According to the annual study conducted by CyberSource, a provider of electronic payment processing and risk management, the latest result means the West African nation has ranked as the riskiest nation for the past three years. CyberSource said 31 percent of those online retailers surveyed identified the country as a threat for online fraud, identical to the results seen in 2004 and 2005.

Russia came in second at 9 percent. The United Kingdom, Indonesia, and Mexico tied for third place at 6 percent. The study also found that fraud was spreading to regions as well.

If perpetrators feel that their ship-to addresses are making them vulnerable, if merchants are denying orders to a particular zip code or region, fraudsters can arrange to have their products shipped to them through different intermediary locations, Doug Schwegman, a director at CyberSource, said in a statement.

In the United States, New York City led the voting with 9 percent of those surveyed naming it as the riskiest city. Miami came in second at 7 percent and Los Angeles third at 6 percent.

Retailers are taking steps to protect themselves, however, are turning to geo-location tools. The tools give merchants information on the geographic location of an internet-connected computer, mobile device, or website visitor based on the computer's internet protocol address.

In 2005, 25 percent of U.S. merchants had access to IP Geolocation information. By the end of 2006, that number had jumped to 35 percent, CyberSource said.

Directing more resources to fight fraud can yield big benefits in keeping the criminals at bay, Schwegman said.

The survey was taken from September 14 through October 6, 2006 and yielded 351 qualified and complete responses. The sample was drawn from a database of companies involved in electronic commerce activities.